Dr. Tan Seng Hoe is renal physician and an internist, operating SH Tan Kidney and Medical Clinic Pte Ltd. at the Gleneagles Hospital, Singapore. He recently visited Bangladesh and shared some of his views with Star Health.
Star Health: What are the main differences in the modality of renal diseases from Bangladesh and other countries?
Dr. Tan Seng Hoe: I think the overall is quite similar in terms of the group of patients that we see - but I think, predominantly the risk of hypertension and diabetes are very prominent in Bangladesh. Lot of them end up with renal diseases.
Star Health: What are the cutting edge services you provide, like transplantation is one thing, but you know it's also happening in Bangladesh. So, why patients should seek treatment in Singapore?
Dr. Tan Seng Hoe: Trans-plantation is so easy that it quite happens everywhere. The services that we have is dialysis - it is a little bit of difference. There is a lot of thought about haemodiafiltration. This is actually another form of dialysis - haemodialysis. This is a little more advanced form of dialysis.
Basically, the filters are different, the machine we use is a little bit different, and the advantage of this form of dialysis is useful for patients who are with heart problems, where somebody may be unstable. This is more stable for their heart problem. The other advantage of the haemodiafiltration is - it actually helps to increase the clearance of the toxins applied.
Star Health: So, what are the main reasons that heart patients get more benefit from this?
Dr. Tan Seng Hoe: It provides a bit more stability in blood pressure; just a lot of the heart patients - when they receive haemodialysis, blood pressure drops; so they cannot receive it in fact. Haemodiafiltration gives them a little more cardiac stability.
Star Health: We are seeing the dialysis technique for a long time; there have not been that significant changes. Is there any advancement in portable dialysis?
Dr. Tan Seng Hoe: There are currently some research going on; we have wearable dialysis, which a few countries are actually developing. Singapore has got one company which is developing a portable dialysis at this point. And this is another form of peritoneal dialysis where you bring the machine around. It is still right now in development.
Star Health: Can you tell us about some lifestyle modification for kidney disease?
Dr. Tan Seng Hoe: Lifestyle modification is very important.
If we look at the risk of development or progression of kidney disease - high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, protein loss in the urine - these are receptors that increase the risk of progression including their habits - smoking, for example. So when we talk about lifestyle modification, it actually centres around all these few things that we want to manage - blood pressure, reduce salt intake, diabetes control is important, reducing sugar and being in control of high blood sugar level and for that between hypertension and diabetes, exercise comes in; being active in the lifestyle, open to promoting exercises, reducing weight and stop smoking if there is smoking.
Star Health: Thank you.